Tesla plc  (TSLA - Get Report)  shares appeared set for further declines Thursday, July 5, after its Model S didn't get a top rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Tesla was marked to open down for the fourth straight session. Shares closed at $327.09 Wednesday, after losing more than 7% throughout the trading session. They were up 0.9% to $315.88 by Monday's close.

The IIHS cited issues with the small overlap front test, which is meant to simulate crashes into trees, poles and other vehicles, as why the Model S did not receive the highest rating. IIHS Executive Vice President David Zuby said the front test remains a "hurdle" for some vehicles. 

"Tesla made changes to the safety belt in vehicles built after January with the intent of reducing the dummy's forward movement," IIHS said. "However, when IIHS tested the modified Model S, the same problem occurred, and the rating didn't change."

Investors continued to question Elon Musk's automaker due to poorer-than-expected sales figures for the second quarter and shift downward in sales targets from analysts at Goldman Sachs.

The company gave out sales numbers Monday that appeared to show demand for its existing Model S and Model X cars slowing, and results from the launch of its Model 3 car have underperformed market expectations.  

This is at a time when electric cars are going mainstream with industry-wide adoption. Volvo Cars said Wednesday that all of its cars will feature an electric engine from 2019, signaling its commitment to embrace the new technology, while almost all of the world's major automakers have some form of electric model in the pipeline. 

Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino slashed his six month price target for the shares to $180 Wednesday, which implies downside of 49% from Monday's close, citing slowing growth. 

Should Tamberrino's prophecy of a 49% collapse of Tesla's share price be born out, the move would erase almost all of the 53% year-to-date gain seen in the automaker's shares. 

This article was originally published on July 6, 2017. 

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